I’m Moving to a Cave!

Written by Rae Ann Norell on . Posted in Blog

The other day, I was on the computer from 5 a.m. until 2 p.m., less one hour for breakfast and a few chores. I’m retired, so why is it that I spend more time at the computer than I did while I was working full-time?

            I wasn’t mindlessly surfing the net. I paid some bills on-line, updated my Quicken, weeded out my e-mails by deleting some right off the bat, responding to some, postponing responses to others, and archiving some. I try to keep less than 50  e-mails  on the screen. I updated my Facebook page, worked on a blog post, and ordered a book form Amazon. Next I began searching for airline tickets to go visit my grandkids. I called to find out how many  frequent flyer points  I had on my various airline accounts and discovered I have four free flights available.

cave  Things got interesting with United when I found out I have two mileage accounts with them.  I have over 50,000 points with the two accounts combined. (I found out 50,000 points  doesn’t even buy a round trip ticket to Europe any more, just a domestic flight).  The staff person advised me to merge the two  accounts in order to use the points. I had a difficult time understanding the heavy accents of both people I talked to. I’m pretty sure one said it would cost me $200 to have them merge the accounts for me. I said I wasn’t interested, so she referred me to the page on their website with instructions for merging mileage accounts.  

            She then said, “Have we helped you solve your problem today?” I said, “If I’m able to figure this out on my own.” She laughed and said she was sure I could. I had the username and password for one of my accounts, but not the other. After clicking on “forgot my password,” they e-mailed me a password for the account that I already knew the password. I haven’t resolved the issue, now five days later. 

            I grew more frustrated throughout the day on the computer and phone, until I was almost ready to pull my hair out. I decided I wanted to simplify my life by throwing away the phone and all electronic gadgets—particularly the computer— and move to a cave. With a few conditions—the cave would have a comfy bed, modern indoor plumbing, AC and heating, lots of books, and  a small TV. Is that too much to ask?

 Can anyone relate to this?


Written by Rae Ann Norell on . Posted in Blog

I said to my son, “After you died, I read everything I could about near-death experiences and wondered.”

                “Over the next few weeks I was there by your side,” David continued. “ I was standing by you when you visited me at the funeral home. I wept along with you, and wanted to comfort you and say I was okay. I was at the memorial service, and couldn’t believe there were over 400 people there. I was honored at what all my friends were saying.

Climax Wave016“After I got to the other side, it took some time of grieving and adjustment, but as I said, with the kayaking and with family and friends, I’m happy now. Time passes more quickly where I am.

                “I was bummed when I found out my heart diagnosis, bummed that the doctors couldn’t figure it out. If I had known I wouldn’t have gone on the triathlon that day, but I would have kept kayaking.”

                I cried as David told me his story. We drove back down the hill and walked into my house. It was 6 p.m.

                “I have to go now, Mom. But I want you to know, when you come I will be the first to greet you and walk you to the other side. For me, as I said, the time will fly much more quickly than it will for you.”

                “David, you don’t know how much this visit means to me. It has confirmed my belief that we will be reunited someday.”

                “We will Mom. It was so great seeing you.” We gave each other another long hug.

                “I’m going now mom. I’ll see you soon. Try not to be sad. I love you.”

                “I’m glad you’re happy. I love you so much David. I can’t wait to be with you again.”

                David stood up, and in a flash he was gone. But my heart was happier than it had been in the last eight years. My hope was confirmed.

ONE MORE DAY—A MAGICAL STORY– “Did you know you were dying?” (Pt. 3 of 4)

Written by Rae Ann Norell on . Posted in Blog

David's 21st Birthday

David’s 21st Birthday

We talked and talked. He had watched his sister grieve and realized how much she loved him. He was sad that he didn’t know she was expecting a baby when he died,  but was honored that she chose David for his new little nephew’s middle name.  David thought his second nephew was a kick. He was amazed at how much his niece had grown. She was only 18 months old when he died. We talked about my dad’s last few weeks on this earth.

We talked about David’s girlfriend.  He watched her grieve. He liked the man she married, six years after David died. David grieved along with her and his friends  Dru, Dan, Tyler,  Graham, and others. 

                “Mom, I’m so pleased with the book you wrote. Yes, I read it, after all you left it for me on my dresser. I was helping you write it, giving you words to express the stories. I know that was a huge endeavor and it means a lot to me.”

                “It was a labor of love for me. My mission in life since you died, is to maintain a really good relationship with your sister and my grand kids, and to honor you by helping keep your memory alive. I really felt your presence while I wrote the book and liked to think you were helping me.”

                “Want to take a drive in my new car?” I asked.

                “Sure, it’s a really kewl car.”

                As we drove, we talked. I asked him if we could drive up Bogus Basin Road, where he had died and he was okay with that. When we got there, we got out and sat on the hillside by the makeshift paddle/memorial that his friends had made. The sky was blue with tendrils of clouds floating lazily above. Flies and bees buzzed nearby. I asked David to point out exactly where he lay on the road when he passed.

                Not only did he do that, but I had a vision of David lying on the road, on his left side, still semi “seated” on his bicycle.

                “David, there are a couple of things I’ve so wanted to know about that day. Did you know you were dying?”

                “No. When I approached the eight mile marker on Bogus Basin Road, I felt really winded and weak, and knew I had to stop. A vision flashed before me of my fainting in wrestling practice when I was 15. Winning the race wasn’t as important to me as taking care of myself, so I stopped. As soon as I stopped, I fell to the ground, and later realized I died instantly. I didn’t feel any pain. Immediately I was standing by the side of the road, looking at myself lying on the ground. I didn’t realize what was going on at first.

                “A man in a van stopped about a minute later and I watched him, and soon others, try CPR. Friends and race participants were gathering on the hillside watching efforts to save me. By this time I was pretty freaked out because I realized I had died. I was in such shock. It took a long time for it to register. I saw my friend Joe  take a kayak paddle out of his car, cut off the end and place it in the ground on the hillside, directly above where I lay on the road. I was watching until the paramedics came and the coroner’s van took me down the hill.

                “I was freaked, as I said. But immediately after that I found myself in a tunnel, with a very bright light at the end of the tunnel. I saw some people walking towards me but couldn’t make them out. Then as they got closer I saw Grandma Bromfield. She was crying, and we hugged and cried. Behind her were Charlie and a few other of my friends who had died. It was somber but I was happy to see Grandma and my friends.”

to be continued….


Written by Rae Ann Norell on . Posted in Blog

I drank in the sight of my son, David. He looked just like he did the last time I saw him the day before he died— a handsome age 24, although he looked more like 20. Short black hair, beautiful blue eyes, a tan, chiseled face, thin and muscular. I was speechless.

                Finally I asked, “How did you find me at my new house?”

                “Well,” he chuckled, “I hear you talk to me every morning in the room you’ve designated as ‘my room,’ and you gave me the address when you moved.”

                “When you died I thought I could never leave the Meridian house because that was a house you had been in, and what if you came to visit and couldn’t find me? So it was hard to leave that house.”

                “I can see you and also hear you when you talk to me. I can see Dad, Amy and her family, and my friends as well.”

                “I hope you don’t see me at my worst, when I’m swearing and such.”

                “No, I don’t see you when you wouldn’t want to be seen, or in private moments.”

                “What have you been doing? Tell me all about it,” I asked.

                David told me he did indeed kayak where he was, that the rivers were huge and the scenery was gorgeous. He kayaked with his friends who had also passed, Daniel, Charlie, Matt, Toby, Gordon, Ray, Walt, Eric, Kelly, and others. He also kayaked with other boaters who he had not met on this side. There was a large brotherhood of boaters.

                “Also I was there when Grandpa came,” David said. “You should have seen the happy reunion he had with Grandma. I’ve been with her and her heart ached for you when I died. She saw you and knew how hard it was and saw how brave you were. I’ve also met my great grandparents. Grandpa Ray was especially excited to meet his great grandson.”

                “I know,” I said. “ Your great-grandpa always wanted me to hurry up and get married so he could meet his first great grandchild. But he died before I married.”

                “Mom, I’m sorry about the Parkinson’s and you’re having to retire from the Philharmonic before you wanted to, but I’m happy you’re enjoying your retirement from your job. I’m really amazed at all you do, but that doesn’t surprise me, you were always that way.”

                “Thanks sweetie. Did you see me travel to England, France, Hawaii, Peru, China, and Egypt?”

                “Yes! I was along with you on all of those trips. That was fantastic. And I was surprised when you took up motorcycling with Howard. I was along on those three great road trips, too. Way to go! I’m proud of you.”

                “I was hoping you could find out about that. You know I’m scared in big winds, but other than that, it’s so much fun.”   

to be continuedRa David 03